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Cellphone video shows ‘harrowing’ conditions on Highway 285 Saturday night that stranded hundreds

PARK COUNTY, Colo. -- Highway 285 Saturday night was like a hurricane for travelers.

"From Fairplay, we started up towards Kenosha Pass and just had a harrowing experience," Hannah Koschnitzke told our partners at 9News. "I've never seen it like that before."

Dominick Fuchs was driving with his dad who took this photo of the roadway while he was stranded for six hours before being rescued by firefighters near Jefferson.

"The winds were so strong that I thought like the telephone poles were gonna blow over onto the road and there was cars trying to move and they were getting like blown off the road," he told 9News. "Blowing snow, could not see anything in front of us."

But both Fuchs and Koschnitzke say they're not mad about the weather. Rather, they're upset that CDOT decided to re-open the road amid the dangerous conditions.

"You know, I thought that re-opening the road meant that it would be passable," Koschnitzke said. "I'm very surprised they re-opened the road. It didn't seem to me that anyone should be up there."

CDOT Communications Director Matt Inzeo said safety is number one in a statement to 9News.

"It's certainly an understandable frustration and we empathize with that," said Inezo. "The other thing that we were trying to balance here that this was a period of holiday travel and so the extent that we can keep the roads open, we want to."

Koschnitzke stayed in a shelter in Fairplay while Fuchs and his father spent the night at the Jefferson-Como fire station, according to 9News.

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Suzie Ziegler

Suzie is a digital content producer and
reporter.

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